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A sea of emotions erupt as Kashmiri pandits use theatre to highlight their pain

Emotions ran high when migrant Kashmiri Pandit troupe staged `Rovmut Bhatta’ (Lost Pandit), a play depicting the pain and plight of the exiled community who are living as refugees in their own land.Staged by the Vomedh Rangmanch, a Kashmiri theatre troupe in the Annual Drama Festival of Jammu and Kashmir Academy for Culture, Art and Languages at Abhinav Theatre in Jammu, ‘Rovmut Bhatta’ left the jam-packed audience spellbound by the script, direction and the performance of the artists.‘Rovmut Bhatta’ is a satirical take on the journey of Kashmiri Pandits since their forced exile in 1990 after the eruption of militancy in Kashmir valley and the impact it has had on the community caught in the cobweb of terrorism and cross-cultural chaos.Also readKashmiri pandit’s sweet gesture: Candies for Eid processionThe story revolves around Tathya, a man in eighties in a coma for almost three decades whose elder son was killed by terrorists in Kashmir due to which he went into the coma and how his second son Raju shifts to Jammu along with Tathya’s foster son Jorra.One day Tathya suddenly comes out of the coma and the drama unfolds as he begins asking uncomfortable questions to his son why he or the community has not been able to get justice all these years. He finally takes it upon himself to seek justice by going on fast unto death as the leadership has failed them. He finally dies during the protest fast raising several uncomfortable questions about the political class, bureaucracy, community leadership and the confusion prevailing within the community.Also readEid-e-Milad 2017: When a Kashmiri Pandit couple stole hearts by greeting Milad procession“Rovmut Batta is a story of deep introspection. It is a story of stock-taking of what has gone wrong with Kashmir Pandit community and why? Are there only external factors responsible for all the ills that the community is faced with? Rovmut Batta is a satirical comedy with elements of introspection, reflections, nostalgia, resilience, and hope”, said Rakesh Roshan Bhat, the playwright.Director of the play Rohit Bhat said Rovmut Batta is a story of resilience and hope as the protagonist springs back into action even after being in the coma for so many years. “The optimist would say if he could do it anyone can do it, and the pessimist would say if he could not do it, no one can. They are not trying to preach anything and their intention is not to hurt anyone’s feeling but it is an attempt to pause and look back; after all isn’t this what good and meaningful theatre is all about”, he said

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WION Exclusive: ‘I have right to head FTII, want to focus on getting things done,’ says Anupam Kher

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after his appointment as FTII chairman, Anupam Kher, the National Award winning actor and doyen of Bollywood spoke exclusively to WION on Saturday.In a candid interview, Kher spoke about his vision for India’s premiere film institute and the controversy surrounding his predecessor Gajendra Chahuhan.The Saaransh actor said that not only he is the right candidate for the job, but he also has time for his new role. “I don’t need to do a 9 to 5 job at the FTII. In fact, you can be in institute for 24 hours and do nothing. I will speak to the students and figure about the issues, which are important for the institute,” Kher said. “I’m a self-made man and I have the right to head FTII,” he added.On his vision for FTII, he said that he doesn’t want to have any pre-conceived notions before taking up the job. “Any institute will; have its set of challenges and I’m ready for it. I want to take FTII to a glorious future and I want only to be a guide and source of inspiration to the students,” he said.Talking about his predecessor Gajendra Chauhan, Kher said that he was the first person to speak about him.“I spoke about it (that Gajendra Chauhan was not the right candidate) but today I don’t want to go into details as he has relinquished the office. The position of chairman requires a certain world view and I felt strongly about it.”The Padma Bhushan awardee who also runs an acting institute by the name ‘Actor Prepares’ said, “I’m a teacher and want to focus on getting the things done. I’m an optimist and I only focus on positive. I will cross the bridge when it comes.”Kher who has acted in more than 500 films has a strong opinion about Indian cinema. He feels Indian cinema must reflect the modern India as the country is not about snake charmer.“We must move away from India’s cliche image. Our cinema is now limited to song and dance”.Speaking about filmmakers from small towns and films on small towns, Kher said, “Big cities have been consumed. There is some plasticity around it. Small towns today look real, earthy and believable and have brought freshness to the cinema. The characters from small town looks believable.”He also added that when he works abroad he makes sure that he doesn’t get cast himself in roles that stereotype India. The 62-year-old, best remembered for his stellar performances in ‘Daddy’, ‘Saraansh’, has held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama.

‘Commie senior citizens beware’: Twitter reacts to Anupam Kher’s appointment as FTII chairman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anupam Kher has been appointed as the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), replacing Gajendra Chauhan. Prior to joining the FTII as its chairman, Kher has also held the chairman’s post in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and National School of Drama (NSD). He is also the chairman of the acclaimed acting school ‘Actor Prepares.’The Padma Shri (2004) and Padma Bhushan (2016) awardee actor has more than 500 movies and several plays in his repertoire. FTII is India’s premier film and television institute, under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India. Here’s how Twitter reacted:

Anupam Kher deeply humbled to become FTII chairman, Gajendra Chauhan wishes him well

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actor Anupam Kher was appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India, Information and Broadcasting ministry officials said. Kher replaces Gajendra Chauhan, who had a controversial tenure as head of the Pune-based institute. Reacting to the change of guard, Gajendra Chauhan said: “Anupam Kher has been appointed now as FTII Chairman, I hope he works well. My good wishes are with him.Prior to joining the FTII as its chairman, Kher has also held the chairman’s post in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and National School of Drama (NSD). He is also the chairman of the acclaimed acting school ‘Actor Prepares.’The Padma Shri (2004) and Padma Bhushan (2016) awardee actor has more than 500 movies and several plays in his repertoire. FTII is India’s premier film and television institute, under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India. His term had ended in March. A notification regarding Kher’s appointment has been issued, officials saidWith inputs from PTI

In blockbuster move, Pahlaj Nihalani snipped out of CBFC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pahlaj Nihalani was removed as the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with immediate effect on Friday. Lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi will be taking over as the next chairman of the film certification body. The government also reconstituted the 23-member CBFC board reducing its existing staff strength of 17 to 12.Nihalani had less than six months left in CBFC, with his term slated to get over in January 2018. “Nihalani’s decisions of imposing arbitrary cuts in films had not only become a matter of concern for filmmakers, but also an embarrassment for the ministry,” a senior official said, adding that the government was waiting for the Parliament session to get over before announcing the decision.The former film producer had ran into several controversies during his tenure as CBFC chairman. In 2015, he edited the duration of kissing scenes in the James Bond franchise Spectre.Later, the CBFC, under Nihalani’s chairmanship, suggested deletion of seemingly innocuous words such as Punjab, Jalandhar, Amritsar, election, MP, Party and MLA in the film Udta Punjab.Recently, he had also blocked the award winning film Lipstick Under My Burkha calling it ‘lady-oriented’. He had suggested cutting off the word ‘intercourse’ in the recently-released Jab Harry Met Sejal.Nihalani was the creative force behind the BJP’s campaign video, ‘Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi’ in the run up to the 2014 general elections.The government has reconstituted the CBFC board under the existing Cinematograph Act. Actor Vidya Balan, director and producer Vivek Agnihotri, Tamil film actor Gautami Tadimalla, Hindi language author Narendra Kohli, Neil Herbert Nongkynrih of the Shillong Chamber Choir and director of National School of Drama, Waman Kendre, are some of the new names which have been inducted into the new CBFC board.The government has also framed a draft Cinematograph Bill for the revamp of CBFC, that will replace the existing Cinematograph Act of 1952. The Bill, on which consultations are on, has inculcated some of the Shyam Benegal committee’s recommendations.

Fiscal sops in Assam Budget to promote Assamese films

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To revive the ailing Assamese film sector, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today proposed a slew of incentives, including 50 per cent exemption on entertainment tax, in the Budget for 2017-18. “There is a general criticism that modern cinema halls like multiplexes are not very keen to screen Assamese or regional films. In order to encourage exhibition of local films, I propose to grant 50 per cent entertainment tax exemption,” Sarma said in his Budget speech. The tax rebate will be available for a period of three years to permanent multiplexes, which have commenced or will commence their commercial operation during specified period, he added. “There is, however, a condition. They have to give a written undertaking to the effect that they will show Assamese or regional film in one of the screens, if such Assamese or regional film is available for screening at a particular point of time,” Sarma said while presenting the Budget estimates. Besides, he proposed to give a subsidy of Rs 50 lakh for reopening of closed cinema halls and Rs 25 lakh for renovation of the existing and functional cinema halls in order to help the film industry of the state. “I also propose a subsidy of 25 per cent of the capital cost in case of establishment of new cinema halls. The (Cultural) department will soon issue detailed guidelines in this regard,” the minister said. In order to showcase world cinema in Assam, Sarma proposed to hold an International Film Festival annually in Guwahati on the lines of major global film fests in Goa (IFFI), Kolkata (KIFF), Thiruvanthapuram (IFFK) amd Mumbai (MAMI). “Assam has the great tradition of making films by eminent film makers like Rup Kunwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Bhabendra Nath Saikia and others. For this (film festival), I am proposing a sum of Rs 1 crore. We would also like to preserve Chitraban Film Studio at Bholaguri Tea Estate set up by Rup Konwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala,” he added. On the theatre field, Sarma announced to establish one State School of Drama on the lines of National School of Drama for preserving theatrical traditions and he proposed to allocate Rs 2 crore for starting the work of this cultural training institution.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Actor Om Puri, star in Bollywood and the West, dies at 66 | Reuters

MUMBAI Veteran actor Om Puri, who successfully straddled movie careers in Bollywood and the West, died on Friday in Mumbai.Puri, 66, suffered cardiac arrest, his friend and actor Anupam Kher told Reuters.Puri cut his teeth in the 1980s with alternative art cinema that found a niche audience in India, playing several memorable characters that depicted the angst of the times.He also worked in several Hollywood and British films, including “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, “East is East”, and most recently in “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, opposite Britain’s Helen Mirren.”He showed that you didn’t have to be ‘fair’ and ‘good-looking’ to be a protagonist,” Saeed Akhtar Mirza, who directed Puri in one of his earliest films, “Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai” (Why does Albert Pinto get Angry?), told Reuters.

“It was just the force of his personality and his performance.”Several Bollywood stars, fans and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay their respects.

“Who dare say Om Puri is no more? He lives through his work,” actor Kamal Hassan tweeted.An alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India and later, the National School of Drama, the actor’s work in Govind Nihalani’s “Ardh Satya” (Half-Truth) and later “Aakrosh” (Rage) won him several accolades.

Along with Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, Puri was seen as one of the stars of the alternative cinema movement that contrasted sharply with Bollywood’s often crass content.His distinctive baritone, and ability to switch seamlessly between art house, Bollywood, Hollywood and British film, made him an international star, one of the few Indian actors to cross over to the West before the likes of Irrfan Khan and Priyanka Chopra made the jump. (Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Nick Macfie)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Jan 6, 2017 22:25 IST

Indian actor Om Puri, star in Bollywood and the West, dies at 66 | Reuters

MUMBAI Veteran Indian actor Om Puri, who successfully straddled movie careers in Bollywood and the West, died on Friday in Mumbai.Puri, 66, suffered cardiac arrest, his friend and actor Anupam Kher told Reuters.Puri cut his teeth in the 1980s with alternative art cinema that found a niche audience in India, playing several memorable characters that depicted the angst of the times.He also worked in several Hollywood and British films, including “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, “East is East”, and most recently in “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, opposite Britain’s Helen Mirren.”He showed that you didn’t have to be ‘fair’ and ‘good-looking’ to be a protagonist,” Saeed Akhtar Mirza, who directed Puri in one of his earliest films, “Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai” (Why does Albert Pinto get Angry?), told Reuters.

“It was just the force of his personality and his performance.”Several Bollywood stars, fans and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay their respects.

“Who dare say Om Puri is no more? He lives through his work,” actor Kamal Hassan tweeted.An alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India and later, the National School of Drama, the actor’s work in Govind Nihalani’s “Ardh Satya” (Half-Truth) and later “Aakrosh” (Rage) won him several accolades.

Along with Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, Puri was seen as one of the stars of the alternative cinema movement that contrasted sharply with Bollywood’s often crass content.His distinctive baritone, and ability to switch seamlessly between art house, Bollywood, Hollywood and British film, made him an international star, one of the few Indian actors to cross over to the West before the likes Irrfan Khan and Priyanka Chopra made the jump. (Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Nick Macfie)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Jan 6, 2017 19:14 IST

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